Last week, Square Enix released the Playstation 5 upgrade for Final Fantasy VII Remake. Alongside the upgrade, they also released Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode INTERmission, a DLC episode involving Yuffie. Taking place during the time Cloud falls from the Sector 5 reactor, the episode has Yuffie infiltrating Midgard in the hopes of nabbing Shinra’s ultimate materia for Wutan.
With just two chapters, the DLC isn’t going to set the world afire…but is it good enough for fans of Final Fantasy VII Remake who just want more of the game?
Find out by reading!
What is Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode INTERmission?
Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode INTERmission is a DLC that is a side story to the main game. It’s a completely alternative slice of gameplay that takes place concurrent to the main game. It’s available by itself for SG$25 or bundled with Final Fantasy VII Intergrade.
For its plot, Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode INTERmission is completely self-contained.
Even if you’ve never played the main game, you’ll have no problem getting your bearings. It’s true that you’ll encounter characters from the main game but they don’t really acknowledge you in any meaningful way that affects either the main game’s plot or Intermission’s.
In the DLC, Yuffie and her ally Sonon (another Wutan ninja) are in Midgard to nab Shinra’s new ultimate materia. To do so, they ally themselves with Avalanche HQ (separate from Barrett’s Avalanche splinter group) for help in infiltrating Shinra’s massive HQ, a pivotal location from the main game.
It features all the visual upgrades from the main game, so Yuffie and Sonon look damn good. The DLC’s also 4K 60FPS, though I did notice some scenes of slowdown and object/character pop-in, mainly in the Sector 7 Slums.
The DLC starts familiar enough, with Yuffie arriving in the Sector 7 slums to meet up with Avalanche HQ and Sonon. The map’s the same as the main game, so those who’ve played it will be right at home. However, there are new diversions to contend with that aren’t available anywhere else.
There’s the Happy Turtle flyer hunt (wherein you need to find 6 Happy Turtle flyers), to unlock a special merchant. There’s also the Fort Condor mini-game (which was also present in the original FFVII, though in a different form) which has you deploying troops to engage enemies. As you win over different opponents, you get new units and boards to use in it, which is pretty cool. Finally, there’s also a battle simulator to fight in.
Two of the side games (Fort Condor and Happy Turtle) are intertwined with each other, which makes progression feel worthwhile. Finishing up the Happy Turtle questline unlocks the unique merchant, who is the ONLY way to acquire some of the rarer boards and units for the game.
These diversions aren’t necessary, but if you want to pad out the length of the DLC, it’s highly recommended to do them. Thankfully, they’re fun though Fort Condor can be aggravating if you don’t have the right units or boards.
Apart from the Sector 7 slums, Yuffie and Sonon also explore other areas not from the main game, though the assets used are very familiar. Despite the different areas, there’s not much going on in Chapter 1 that is worth talking about.
It’s only when the game hits Chapter 2 (when the pair infiltrates Shinra HQ), that things take a turn for the better.
There are stunning revelations (such as the Deepmind section) that will no doubt have an impact on the game’s second part that’s coming…well, hopefully sometime this decade. I’m not going to talk about them but they do introduce cool new plot elements and characters that I hope will return in the future.
Unfortunately, for all the juicy plot stuff that’s introduced in Chapter 2, it also feels like a slog.
You don’t get to free roam doing sidequests, it’s all linear.
You’re forced to engage in battle after battle, sometimes for long periods without being able to recover MP and HP. I highly recommended you load up with Ethers, Healing materia and TONS of potions before heading to Chapter 2.
I guess the gauntlet is supposed to be challenging but all I felt was a sense of boredom.
Enemies absorb unholy amounts of damage (I’m playing on Normal), making the fights feel like a war of attrition than one of skill. While the boss fights are undeniably cool, they’re also damn frustrating as bosses don’t even seem to react to your hits unless they’re staggered.
What that ultimately means is that you’ll constantly be trading hits with bosses as you attack, making fights a matter of whittling down each other’s HP to win.
It doesn’t help that you only have Yuffie and Sonon in battles (and you can’t even control Sonon).
It’s cool that Yuffie and Sonon can synergize their attacks (which quickly raises the stagger gauges of enemies) but it feel ultimately feels a tad shallow. You’ll want them to be synergized pretty much every battle, as there’s little benefit (other than Sonon’s ATB filling faster) to turning off the feature.
At the end of the day, that makes every battle feel the same…boring.
The Bottom Line.
For SG$25, I did feel like I got my money’s worth as will any fan of Final Fantasy VII.
There’s a ton of playtime here so you’ll certainly get your money’s worth…if you work for it.
While it might seem length, that’s partly due to me padding out the game with the Fort Condor and Happy Turtle side quests. While I did enjoy Fort Condor (I wish there were more fights and units), it felt sometimes to be unfairly hard and more a diversion rather than a legitimate way to extend the game’s length.
There are some really cool plot revelations in the game that make playing the DLC a must but I think more can (and should) have been done to really make the DLC a must-have.
The new visual additions to the game are welcome and the new lighting makes the Shinra basement levels look really cool. Unfortunately, the battles seem to drag on forever and I really wish some of the enemies had reduced HP just to make things go faster.
I was honestly hoping to reach the end of the DLC quickly just because I got tired of the battles and the damage soaking enemies, something I never really had an issue with in my original Final Fantasy VII Remake review.
Worth it for the plot additions but battles can be a slog with beefy enemies.
- Fort Condor is fun!
- Spectacular visuals.
- Awesome music.
- New plot elements flesh out the story, and sets up the continuation of FF7R.
- Enemies take too damn long to kill.
- Can’t control Sonon.
- Chapter 2 too linear, with too much fighting.